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Reports of 'ZEC disenfranchising voters' regardless BVR are eroding MDC credibility

17 May 2017 at 16:50hrs | Views
The people of Zimbabwe went into the 2013 elections beaming with confidence that the elections will be the watershed elections the nation had waited for - free, fair and credible elections. Morgan Tsvangirai, Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube, David Coltart and all the big guns in the MDC had all come out in full force to assure the people that the new constitution approved in the March 2013 referendum was a democratic constitution and would deliver all the people' s freedoms and human rights including the right to free, fair and credible elections. Tsvangirai even called the new constitution an "MDC child!" The nation believed every word of it and went into those elections beaming with confidence of a free and fair election.

Many people, notably SADC leaders, warned at the time that the new constitution was weak and feeble, it will never deliver the democratic freedoms and rights. Zanu PF MP Paul Mangwana, who was the co-chairperson on the parliamentary committee that drafted the new constitution, confirmed this. He boasted that it President Mugabe who "dictated" the new constitution. This was why SADC leaders warned MDC leaders at the Maputo summit, the last regional meeting before Zimbabwe's 2013 elections, not to contest the elections without implementing the wide ranging democratic reforms first.

"In 2013 the Maputo Summit, in June 2013, before the elections, the Maputo Summit was all about having the elections postponed – the SADC summit. I went there," Dr Ibbo Mandaza told Violet Gonda in a recent interview.

"I was there at the Summit and Mugabe pretended to agree to a postponement of the elections. If you recall, the postponement was based on the need to reform at least electoral laws, and after that Summit, Morgan Tsvangirai, Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube, all of them were called to a separate meeting by the Heads of State of SADC in the absence of Mugabe, that same evening.

"And they were told; I was sitting there outside the room with Mac Maharaj; they were told ‘If you go into elections next month, you are going to lose; the elections are done!'"

The full interview is available on violetgonda.com.

As we know Tsvangirai and company ignored SADC leaders' warning and contested the elections even when it was obvious to the MDC leaders themselves that Zanu PF was rigging the elections. In his book, David Coltart, noted how ZEC had more voter registration centres in Mhondoro with a population of 100 000, a rural area and Zanu PF stronghold, than in Harare and Bulawayo with a population of 2 million plus each, urban areas and opposition strong holds. MDC leaders still ignore what they saw with their own eyes.

"The worst aspect for me about the failure to agree a coalition was that both MDCs couldn't now do the obvious – withdraw from the elections," wrote David Coltart in his book.

"The electoral process was so flawed, so illegal, that the only logical step was to withdraw, which would compel SADC to hold Zanu PF to account. But such was the distrust between the MDC-T and MDC-N that neither could withdraw for fear that the other would remain in the elections, winning seats and giving the process credibility."

So the lure of the gravy train seats was so powerful and overwhelming that not even Coltart could listen to his own advice and "do the obvious – withdraw from the elections". Coltart contested the flawed 2013 elections and went on to write pages on how Zanu PF had blatantly rig the vote!

The people were very disappointed that Zanu PF rigged the 2013 elections and it shocked their no-questioned-asked confidence in MDC's ability to deliver free and fair was shaken to the core! MDC leaders have made numerous promises and party congress resolution to force Zanu PF to implement the democratic reforms but they have all, without exception, come to nothing.

Last year Tsvangirai went on a nationwide tour, "to listen" to the people were told. The one thing that was repeated at all the meetings was the problem of Zanu PF vote buying and intimidation tactics. Tsvangirai's response varied from "fight back", "join Zanu PF and come election vote for MDC" and his standard response is to pretend he did not hear.

To say that the nation was disappointed by Tsvangirai and MDC's ability to stop Zanu PF thuggery is an understatement! They were guttered!

Meanwhile Zanu PF has responded to demands for democratic reforms with a bold and provocatively arrogant and no-nonsense ‘You can't expect us to reform ourselves out of power!' said Professor Jonathan Moyo. Something akin to the belligerent honey badger in his prime, confident in his deliverance, marking his territory - all territory under the sun that he is here claiming as his, is his!

If the people of Zimbabwe had gone into the 2013 elections beaming with confidence of free and fair elections, they are going into next year's elections depressed and dreading every minute of it! With each passing day the nation's confidence in the opposition to stop Zanu PF rigging the next elections in evaporating away.

"Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC says it has gathered overwhelming information that the ZEC wants to disenfranchise voters in their urban strongholds by increasing voter registration points in rural areas," reads today's Daily News report.

"This comes as ZEC is going ahead full stream with its campaigns to educate the public and civic groups on much-debated BVR exercise ahead of eagerly anticipated 2018 national elections."

MDC and the rest in the opposition have made a mountain out of a mole-hill of this BVR kits in their foolish attempt to impress the public. They were warned that compared to reforming ZEC, BVR kits is trivial, in the fight for free and fair elections because it is not the equipment but those entrusted to operate it who matter the most here.

So, MDC are admitting ZEC is up to the same dirty trick registering voters in Zanu PF strongholds whilst making it as difficult as possible for voter in opposition strong holds to register. Even if opposition supporters register, they will still be denied the vote as their details may not be in the voters roll they expect as happened to nearly one million voters in the 2013 elections.

Of course, it is naïve to believe that the new BVR kit will stop NIKUV, Zanu PF's vote rigging Israeli gurus, corrupting the whole electoral process to deliver yet another landslide victory for the party.

For the 2013 elections, NIKUV was reportedly paid a princely sum of US $ 10 million for corrupting the voters roll; ease money, considering there was really nothing to it. The regime refuse to release the voters roll although it is required to do so by law because it would have been easy to spot the systematic posting of opposition supporters' data in constituent voters roll other than the one the individual expected, for example. High School dropout could do that!

NIKUV are nothing more than the modern-day conmen weaving the pompous empire the golden rob. No doubt NIKUV's fees will go up considerable for the 2018 elections given they have to study and corrupt the new BVR kits! What a circus!

Elections should be about giving every citizen a meaningful say in the governance of the country. Every citizen should have the right to register and to vote without having to jump hoops and swimming crocodile infested waters and, even then, one may still be denied the vote.

It is those vying for office who should be wooing the citizen for their support and vote with policies of what they will do for the people and kissing babies. Not this nonsense of the people being frog marched to attend rallies and then to polling stations to vote or else!

Zimbabwe's elections are a mockery of what a free, fair and credible election should be. Zanu PF has corrupt the whole process one is given to question those who still arguing that people must continue to participate in such a flawed process: "What else does Zanu PF have to do to rig the vote that the party has not done already to finally convince them the process is flawed?"

The only reason the country's opposition politicians like Morgan Tsvangirai, Tendai Biti, David Coltart, Joice Mujuru and the others tripping over each other to contest next year's elections regardless how flawed and illegal process becomes - short of a threat to their own lives, then Tsvangirai would beat even Usain Bolt in the dash to the Netherland Embassy - is greed. All the opposition politicians care about is securing a gravy train seat and they will walk over the dead bodies of hundreds, victims of the country's violent political culture, to take their seat. They do not care that millions of people continue to be denied their right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country.

Many Zimbabweans know next year's elections are not going to be free, fair and credible and therefore will bring about no meaningful change just as the 2013 elections brought no change. If is high time that ordinary Zimbabwe put a stop to this political charade and demand the implementation of ALL reforms leading to the holding of free, fair and credible elections!



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Source - Patrick Guramatunhu
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
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